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Cork boss McCarthy - 'I’m interested is the spirit there, by Christ, it was there tonight'

The Cork manager reflected on a positive showing as they lost out by three points in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The Cork footballers after last night's game.
The Cork footballers after last night's game.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE OUTCOME WAS the same for the third successive season at the Munster final stage for Cork yet the display produced made for a different post-mortem in Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night.

A season after shipping a 17-point beating to Kerry at this juncture, Cork cut the gap to three points.

That illustrated the strides they had made but for manager Ronan McCarthy there remained a sense of dejection that they had not entered the winners’ enclosure. 

“You give any top team a seven-point start you are going to put yourself on the back foot. Obviously really pleased with the response and the way the team went after the game. Kerry were on 14 men for the last 10 minutes, now they had a cushion of a lead of three or four points at that stage. We came to win the game, that was our objective, we didn’t and we are thoroughly disappointed.”

The consensus before the game was that a massive gulf in quality existed between the sides yet McCarthy was pleased with the spirit his team showed.

Ronan McCarthy Cork boss Ronan McCarthy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“You’re coming into a game where they’re going for seven in a row, they won by 17 points last year, they’re a fine side. Some of the commentary, you’d have to argue was fair enough. We countered it by saying that I felt there was real quality in the team. I come away from any game, win or lose, I’m interested is the spirit there, by Christ, it was there tonight.”

Cork chalked up 3-10 on the scoreboard but spurned a bunch of chances to bump up that tally. 

“Even when we were 1-5 to a point down I felt we had a lot of the ball and some of our decision making was very poor and we paid for it at the other end,” said McCarthy.

“We have been quite good in recent months at recycling the ball and being patient when the opportunities aren’t there.

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“We had goal chances in the first half as well, certainly Mark’s one that was saved, he should have off-loaded it to Brian Hurley who was free. It’s something we are very good at and Mark is very good at actually – picking out the guy in a better position.

“With that said, they had a fairly clear-cut chance with Gavin White at the other end in the first half. But look, we ultimately came to win the game, we haven’t done that and there’s a great sense of disappointment in the dressing room.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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